Hamas chief discusses developments with Lebanon, Iran

By Muhammad Majid

GAZA, Palestine (AA) – Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke by phone Tuesday with Lebanese President Michel Aoun and the head of the Iranian Shura Council, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, on developments in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Haniyeh and Aoun discussed the latest developments across Palestine, including “plans of the occupation to displace citizens in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites, and the crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip, including the killing of children," said a statement by Hamas.

Haniyeh hailed "the Lebanese stance towards Palestine, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa [Mosque]," the statement added.

Hamas also said that Haniyeh updated Ghalibaf during a phone conversation on "political and on-field developments" that began with the Israeli court decision to displace Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah followed by the Israeli storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It stated that the leader of Hamas also briefed Ghalibaf on his movement’s attempts to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the recent Zionist attacks against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and “the heinous crimes" committed by Israel against the people of Gaza, the statement said.

According to the statement, Haniyeh also stressed the need for "the complete annulment” of the decision to evict Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah from their homes and “to stop the policy of Judaization, [illegal] settlements, demolishing homes and the storming of Al-Aqsa."

Ghalibaf expressed "his full solidarity with the Palestinian people,” the statement noted, adding he condemned the Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinians.

He also promised to “send messages to all parliaments about what is happening in Jerusalem now, and the dangerous field developments against the Palestinian people."

As of Tuesday, at least 28 Palestinians have been killed, including children, and scores injured in Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army claimed that it has targeted 130 positions in Gaza, killing 15 members of the Hamas group in strikes.

The army said late Monday that it launched the Guardian of the Walls military operation to respond to what it said was rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Tensions moved from East Jerusalem to Gaza after Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza vowed to retaliate for Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood if the attacks are not halted.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara